This barkeep at the Cheers lounge will nurse you through the AFC and NFC championships games for around fifty bucks. An equivalent buzz of Alaskan Thuderfuck would set you back five bucks or less.

Writing a book about cannabis commerce is hard enough without the distraction of TV sports — which is why I pulled the plug on cable TV. I’m also a peaceful guy who shouldn’t be suckered in by gladiatorial spectacle.

However, every now and then, the sports gods tempt us with a “must-see” clash.

Then I’m lured to local watering holes, the better to observe helmeted warriors in all their flatscreen glory.

Now, my fondness for dank substances is nothing new. Nor is my ambivalence toward alcohol, a substance rightfully castigated by the SAFER organization for causing physical damage to drinkers, their automobiles, and sometimes their homes.

So, I don’t find myself in the bar world often. But I’d noted the appearance of a new saloon in the DU area. It seemed less dark and stale than the most. I decided to try it out for a compelling doubleheader: the AFC and NFC championships games, aka “Championships Sunday.”

The first thing I noticed was the utter lack of hypocrisy in the bar world. If it was obvious someone was over 21, no one asked for ID. There were no limits on the amount of booze one could purchase — a favorable situation several seasoned pros were exploiting nicely. The Department of Revenue had not mandated video surveillance of the premises. People could drink the booze they purchased on site — what a concept! They could also play games like pool and shuffleboard with their friends.

The second thing I noticed was the startling [to me] price seasoned alcoholics red-blooded Americans are willing to pay to gain and maintain an alcoholic edge.

While I resisted cooughing up a relatively meagre  $5.50 for a bloody mary, my new best friends thought nothing of plunking down six times $4 — or $24 — for a constant supply of beer over the course of a game. That was supplemented with three of four shots of “jack” at around four dollars a shot — or $16. That’s about $40 a game. Only that was just the AFC game. The NFC championship was coming up.

Who knows what some of these guys and gals spent over both games?

But wait — something tells me the drinking binge isn’t over when they leave the bar. A nightcap or two in the comfort of their own homes, or stopping at another watering hole on the way there is likely. That’s like a $100 day.

All over America, people think nothing of spending $50 or more on booze to make it through the day. I couldn’t help comparing that to what I’d pay for an equivalent amount of exotic cannabis to liven up my day. If I had watched the games in the privacy of my own home, I could have copped a perfectly great buzz from about a third of a joint.

… and in this corner, the “practical” choice, let’s hear it for ATF (aka Alaskan Thunderfuck).

A mere five hits of Alaskan Thunderfuck would have made the grass greener, the drama more dramatic, and the moves even more athletic. Incredible cone-shaped joints of it run $8 at a local dispensary, that is, when it’s not Member Appreciation Day, when they’re liable to run a three-for-one special.

Anyway, that third of a joint would have met all my requirements for a championship buzz at a cost under three dollars .

Have I made my point?

The conclusion: alcohol lovers may have the freedom, but they pay a steep price for it — which, curiously, they don’t complain about at all. It would appear they consider their booze purchases a worthwhile lifestyle investment. It’s certainly their prerogative.

While MMJ might keep us slaves to a hypocritical system, it offers a lovely alternative for those of us fortunate enough to live around it. Chances are excellent we’re not going to hop a curb, drive over thirty yards of grass, and take out three cars in a parking lot on the way home. It costs us a pittance compared to what alcohol lovers pay for their poison. That makes it safer and way, way cheaper.